A new state agency that will focus on child abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption will be headed by a man who has spent the last year watching over child abuse investigations and foster care in Jackson County. Fred Simmens is the first Director of the Children’s Division of the Social Services Department. It’s part of a reorganization of the Division of Family Services, which was ordered by the Governor last year after the death of a 2-year old southwest Missouri foster child. Under that plan, the Division of Family Services disappears, replaced by the Children’s Division and the Family Support division. The Family Support Division will take care of welfare payments, child support, food stamps, and other family programs.
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